Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bullying disguised as "I'm just trying to help you."

Have you ever experienced one of those people who will point out all your faults, mistakes, flaws and make a big deal out of nonsense because they're "just trying to help you?" Do not be fooled! Do not stop and think "I am so pathetic and useless and awful and so-and-so is so wonderful because they have all the answers and are so nice because they're really trying to help me!"
If you start thinking that way, stop, take your hand, lift it up, move it as far back behind your head as you can and bring it around hard and fast and land it on your cheek! Sore? Well, it's just the literal version of what they, and you, are doing to you.

I've said this before, but deleted it after 5 minutes and now after some consideration and discussion with many people who seem to face this problem day in and day out, I can no longer keep quiet.

We all make mistakes, we all have flaws, we are human. It's not a free pass to mess up as often as possible but it does warrant a little something called encouragement and motivation. Through this, we tend to focus more and feel more enthusiastic about what we're doing and make fewer errors.

Motivation is a driving force behind productivity and productivity is what we're all, essentially, aiming for. How one is motivated is different to how another is motivated but there is one way that NOBODY is motivated and that is by screaming, name calling and overwhelming someone. This builds anger, resentment, unhealthy stress levels and a complete lack of motivation. It's obvious, why would anyone want to do anything for anyone who is horrible to them?

Trying to scare the living daylights out of someone to get results seldom ends in a good finished product either.

If you're subject to someone like this, don't get upset and annoyed and angry at this person, instead take some refuge in the fact that they know no better than to bully others to get their way. You should feel sorry for them in their lack of social skills and lack of common sense. Nobody likes a bully, shame they're so unliked. And then you move on and realise that while you may/may not have to tolerate them, you can control how much they get to you with their rubbish.

If you really can't handle it and have tried to explain how their behaviour is destructive and upsetting to no avail, move on, cut them out, change your phone number and never look back.

Guest Post - Tam

Auds asked all her friends for guest posts about anything we pleased and threw out random suggestions. Luckily Di and I have never had an incident with jam, or anything else...

I think I shall talk about activities. See, my boyfriend and I do Ballroom and Latin American dancing and he climbs and I sometimes climb when the heights are not too daunting and I'm feeling brave (not often - I stay on the ground and take pictures or belay - yes Gawie, I can now belay). So how does one combine these activities to find something that works for me, encourages fitness and builds strength (so the climbing will no longer be scary)? The answer - Pole Fitness!

No, I do not pole dance in nothing but a thong and those weird stick on things! (I don't know whether my mother in-law believes me) The strength work involved in pole dancing is used to create an aerobic and weight work out that leaves you exhausted and stiff (no pun intended). And if you don't believe that it's a real workout, go YouTube Zoraya Judd. She has a six pack that would scare most body builders.

So yes... I recently took up pole fitness and it's been fun. A tough ride for those of us who are not terribly fit and have no upper body strength to speak of, but it's worth every moment of struggle. And let's not even talk about the bruises....

Anyway, check it out if there's a studio near you. It's addictive

And that's me
Tamarah Johnstone-Robertson

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ramblings while waiting to go home

my husband now thinks he is gay. Story over.

O.k, not really, that was typed by him. Not that he's confessing, he's more like, um, well, he's just saying random nonsense because he thinks it's funny. I suppose that was the point of this blog in the first place. Anyway, it made me think of something fun to do, if my friends will humour me that is.
I have two friend, o.k, no I meant two friends but if you read that with a chinese accent, it makes sense... with their own blogs who are really into fashion. I'm not really into fashion, I like clothes, I like some clothes that are fashionable but I'm more a "I must be able to wear it in 3 years without thinking "What on earth was I thinking?!"" kind of person, but I do understand that fashion appeals on a very deep level to many people so I'm going to beg my dear friends to write a guest post on fashion, or on something particularly fashionable right now.
One of my other friends is very interested in dancing and she too has a blog, mainly about gaming and the cookie-monster. She'd be most unimpressed if her cookie-monster started appealing to other people so maybe she shouldn't write about him and just stick to the gaming.
I have another friend who loves to climb who was going to start a blog but never did and so I'll ask him to write a post about climbing.
I'll ask a few other friends about odds and ends that they're really into and see what we come up with.
I shall do one on "awesome bathrooms" or "The down side of corn chips" or even "What happens when you don't brush your hair for two days and wear a cap instead."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cake money

I had a chat with a close friend today about her precious little halflings and what things for nursery school and school cost. I haven't been in school now for, well, a long, long time and I really don't know these things.

One of the things that I was absolutely astonished by was parents being forced to pay a compulsory cake fee! No really! They were paying money for their kids to have cake every Friday.
She told me that a child must bring a cake every Friday and then everybody pays R5 to have a piece! R5 for a slice of cake! In a restaurant, you'd go nuts but a cake bought from the local Spar isn't worth R5 a slice in my opinion. Plus, if parents already have to pay for a cake to be brought in the first place, surely they can say, "O.k, well, Jimmy is entitled to 8 weeks worth of cake, including this one, because the cake cost R40 and it's not like anyone's paying me for the cake" but I think they call it "Fund Raising." What's worse is that the poor kids who can't have their cake and eat it, still have to pay! I hope those kids insist on having their cake, even if it's to squish it into balls and make figurines out of it.

O.k, if we had a cake Friday at work, I would not object, I'd be the first to grab a plate and cake fork but Al can handle my sugar rushes. My poor friends who have kids, however, are tired and having bouncing children until all hours because they're high on cake isn't fair.

I'm going to tell Al about this cake story tonight and I just know he's going to say "Well feed them Froot Loops and Lollipops for breakfast and send them to nursery school with a sugar rush and make it the school's problem!"

I'm glad that nursery school children don't read my blog or I'd have squashed cake mailed to me for sure!

Flowerdew's Beauty Salon

Last week Friday, my mom phoned me and asked me to come to her house because she wanted us to give each other facials. It sounded like such an awesome idea and so I asked if I should bring anything but she insisted that she had everything, I must just pitch up.

Upon arriving there, I found the long plastic table where she sits and does her knitting or sewing or anything really, covered in a blanket and a pillow, and an A4 handwritten sign on the door frame saying "Flowerdew's Beauty salon."
For those who don't know, I loved my gran but I don't know what her and my grandfather were thinking when they named my poor mom Flowerdew Alma Elaine! My mom hates her first name and so everybody calls her Elaine. But we do refer to her as Flowerdew in certain circumstances, where nobody can hear and we want to tease her a little, and so this was funny.

She first scrubbed my face with something so rough it started burning. She even scrubbed the inside of my ears! It turned out to be course salt and maize meal. O.k, so my face was really clean and free of ANY dead skin cells and possibly a few living ones too.

Next came the vitamin E mask which, the fan blowing on my face, dried really, really fast.

She forgot to tone my skin but on we moved to the moisturizer. It smelt familiar...like...peanuts!
"Mom, what smells like peanuts?"
"It's this oil."
"What oil? Cooking oil?"
"No man! Sesame seed oil!"
"On my face?!"
"Yes, it's very good for your skin!"
"Are you sure it's not cooking oil? Like sunflower oil?"
"Yes, man, just keep still! I didn't have moisturizer for your skin, only for wrinkles."

And so she made me promise to keep what I still swear was cooking oil on my face until the next morning, which I did, and it was fine.

It made me feel like a real facial though and so I booked one for February at this amazing place that use amazing products that smell nothing like peanuts!

Nothing beats a proper facial at a real beauty salon but nothing beats the company and atmosphere of Flowerdew's Beauty Salon!

The quest for the ultimate Valentines Day

I've always been superly into Valentines Day. Not in the way that I get chocolates and flowers and teddies, etc but in that I get to make something for the person that I care about.

I try to be as creative as possible while trying not to set myself up for failure in my extremely limited artistic ability.

O.k, now I know one of my exes reads this and well, o.k, you'll find out now I suppose; I used to recycle my ideas. Why? 'Cause they took so long to come up with and they were good! But I never will use a recycled idea on Al and so this has prompted me to get them wheels turning and think of something new and fun and not cliched and cheesy.

If you're stumped for ideas, feel free to grab one of my "recycled" ones! Who's going to know? Lots of people have already and nobody's ever been the wiser.

Idea 1 - Chocolate basket.

Super easy and fun!!
You will need:
A basket
Red cellophane
Red or silver or white ribbon
2 slabs of cooking chocolate
A tray or 2 of your choice of chocolate moulds
A clothing peg or two.

O.k, melt the chocolate in a bowl that is partially in hot water that is in a pot on the stove. Don't let the water boil over and use a bowl that won't crack with the heat.
Pour the chocolate into the moulds and close with a clothing peg. Put in the fridge.

While your choccies are setting, take some scissors and cut an A5 (half an A4) size piece of cellophane off of the roll and cut thin strips of it into the bottom of the basket.
When your chocs are set, place them nicely in the basket on top of the shredded cellophane bits. Place the entire basket on a flat sheet of cellophane and wrap the tops of the cellophane sheet around the top of the basket and tie closed with a ribbon. Curl the ribbon with the scissors blade. Ta-dah! Not enough chocolate in the basket? Well then add a mug or a bottle of wine or juice or whatever. Easy and pretty!

Idea 2 - The photo collage

If your significant other has a hobby that they absolutely love and they have photos of themselves doing this, or even of the two of you doing this together, get hold of the pics, scan them in or take them to a printing shop and ask them to help you, and make a collage and frame it for them! Easy but very personal!

Idea 3 - The boxes

O.k, admittedly, this one isn't entirely my own but I've used it anyway and it's really fun to do.

You will need:

3 boxes of varying sizes that you can write on. It would be great if they fit into each other but mine never have.
A teddy
A chilli
A chocolate (just buy one) A sweetie pie perhaps.

If you can't find boxes, make them. Ja, I can't remember how but I made my boxes and painted them and put glitter glue on them and stuck little stick-on roses on them and everything.

So, you take the biggest box and you write "You're cuter than..." and you put the teddy inside.
You take another box and write "You're hotter than..." and put the chilli inside.
Can you guess the last one? "You're sweeter than..." and the chocolate inside.

One of my friends added a fourth box and wrote "The only thing I love more than you is..." and the box was empty. Very cute.

Idea 4 - The picnic

Easy enough. Go and buy picnic stuff, lots of grapes and strawberries and anything you need to eat with your fingers and not just with cutlery, and have a picnic.

Idea 5 - The cooking supper thing

Also easy. Make their favourite dish for supper. Then as dessert, run them a candlelit bubblebath. On the sides of the bath should be bowls full of chocolate truffles, strawberries, grapes and something to drink be it juice or wine or whatever and let them relax while you get them dishes out the way.

Idea 6 - The storybook

This one was such a disaster for me that I never recycled this again but maybe you'll have better luck.

You will need:
A book. Any sort of blank book. Mine was wooden.
Figurines you can stick in your book so fabric figures or something like that.
So you get a few of the same figurines and you write a sweet little short story or poem (I did an adaptation of "Roses are red" but for the life of me, I can't remember it) about the two of you around the figurines. You can include other things too like benches or houses or whatever's applicable to you.

Idea 7 - My idea for Al this year.

I have to admit that all the above ideas were met with raised eyebrows, shaking of heads and immense giggling. Only once I got a "Wow!" response and so after the last one, I felt that I was wasting my efforts, despite it being fun to do, and no matter how much I tried to say "But I had fun doing it anyway, even if you think it sucks", it DID matter that the other person didn't like it and so I gave up.

In 2009, I went to Clarens with friends and my mom to try and deal with my dad's passing and did nothing for Al.

In 2010, we didn't even see each other as he had to work late and so I stayed in and watched Titanic.

In 2011, I bought him every single heart-shaped chocolate I could find at Clicks and felt very ashamed at giving him something so thoughtless.

This year is going to be different. Al is different to anyone else and while he may think my artwork is humorous at best, he's the type of guy who appreciates effort and thought and so it is that that I am putting into this years Valentines Day as it will be the first since we've been married and he is going to be my one and only Valentine for the rest of my life. He deserves the effort!
I am so excited about what I have planned to do. Now just to think of something unique to make...


I have much to say but I will start with this:

It's a new year with promises of new and happy things and the air is tingling with excitement and anticipation of what's to come. I hope you all share my sentiments and have the same excitement towards the future!! :)